Reflections on Rwanda’s approaches to crime related asset recovery

Author:Francis Dusabe
Position:Open University of Tanzania, Kigali, Rwanda
Pages:70-80
SUMMARY

Purpose In this paper, the author intends to showcase the effectiveness of the Rwandan legal regime governing criminal asset recovery. This paper aims to advocate for a need to enforce laws, which seems to be dormant, and to ensure fairness of action when confiscating or seizing assets that initially belongs to bonafide third parties. Design/methodology/approach The author... (see full summary)

 
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Reections on Rwandas
approaches to crime related
asset recovery
Francis Dusabe
Open University of Tanzania, Kigali, Rwanda
Abstract
Purpose In this paper, the author intends to showcase the effectiveness of the Rwandan legal regime
governing criminalasset recovery. This paper aims to advocate for a need to enforce laws, whichseems to be
dormant, and to ensure fairnessof action when conscating or seizing assets that initially belongsto bonade
third parties.
Design/methodology/approach The author assesses the effectiveness of lawNo. 42/2014 of 27/01/
2015 governing the recovery of offence-related assets in Rwanda and compares it with established
international standardsprovided in major conventions to which Rwanda is a party. Primary and secondary
sources of legal research havebeen used. Primary sources include international conventions,domestic laws
and case laws. Secondarysources include books, chapters, journal articlesand policy papers.
Findings In this paper, the author submits that the law on crime-related asset recovery suffers from
strategic deciencies and gaps and posits that the process of asset recovery should be streamlined and
balancedto meet the aims of crime prevention.
Originality/value This researchpaper is a rst of its kind. Through positivecriticism, it showcases that
Rwanda is doing well through the establishment of relevant laws to combat crime. However, it proposes
solutions to identifygaps. This paper is original and has never been published anywhere else, and all sources
used have dulybeen recognized.
Keywords Money laundering, Rwanda, Asset recovery, Seizure, Conscation
Paper type Case study
1. Introduction
Every year, developingcountries lose between US$20 to US$40bn through corrupt practices.
This amount of money representsalmost 2 to 5 per cent of the global GDP (Jean-Pierre et al.,
2011, p. 1). A study by the European Commission estimated that assets equivalent to more
than a half of African foreigndebt is located in foreign banks (Daniel, 2015,p.1).
Asset recovery is one of the fundamental pillars of global anti-corruption framework
under which states are mandated to afford to one another the widest possible measure of
cooperation and assistance[1].
In the Rwandan criminal justicesystem, asset recovery remains a complex phenomenon.
Even in the presence of a specic law to recover crime-related assets, there is still little case
law and literature to supportthe law enforcement and other ofcials tasked with the job.
In 2015, Rwanda enacted a law on the recovery of crime-related assets, which authorizes
the seizure, conscation[2] and management[3] of offence-related assets. This law also
LLB(NUR), LLM(UWC) and PhD Candidate (Vrije University, Amsterdam. The author is grateful to
Dr Jean Philippo and Dr Davis Edgar for their insightful comments on previous draft. All online
references were correct at the time of writing.
JFC
25,1
70
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 1, 2018
pp. 70-80
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-09-2016-0060
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm

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